The history of Fort Lytton goes back to the 19th century and it's where History Alive takes place around the gun emplacements. Re-enactments featuring everything from medieval time’s right up to the Vietnam War have been taking place at the Fort Lytton National Park for the last 9 years.
The Company of Knights Bachelor put on a great re-enactment of a medieval camp site along with sword fighting tournament with knights fighting for the honour of the ladies. The knights wore magnificently crafted suits of armour using real medieval weapons and the ladies in authentic medieval costume. Medieval music could be heard in the camp site along with the smells of medieval open fire cooking. The company meet every Wednesday night in Spring Hill and can be contacted on 07 3221 7332.
The heavy armoury of the Vietnam War was represented and included tanks, jeeps, army trucks, guns and bikes. An allied campsite was subjected to a Vietnamese attack with the allied solders responding with cannon fire and a counter attack.
History Alive was a great day out with a family ticket costing only $35. Food was available on site but visitors are welcome to bring a picnic. History Alive is a great value, fun and educational day out so look out for History Alive 2009.
Lytton Fort was built in the 1880s to prevent a Russian attack on British colonies in the Pacific. The fortifications continued in use throughout both World Wars, and still stand sentinel on the Brisbane River today. Last weekend, Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 June, thousands turned up to this fascinating landmark to take part in the QLD living History Federation’s, History Alive festival.
500 re-enactors from all over QLD brought to life scenes, sights and sounds of ages long gone, imitating everything from medieval knights and maidens, Roman gladiators and ancient Greeks to Napoleonic Cavalry, colonial Australia and soldiers of the Vietnam war. Once again the fort’s cannons rang out across land and sea as battle re-enactments played out before enthralled audiences while a display of Colonial and modern artillery, tanks and a range of WWII armoured vehicles captivated wanderers.
Clusters of miniature medieval villages of tents were thriving with Knights' tournaments, sword fighting and archery. Bryan Ketly, known for the weekend by his knightly name Bryant Kettil, has been authorized for combat for a year now, re-enacting late 14th Century sword fighting dressed in armour that along with sword and shield weighs around 40kg.
“We try to keep the tournaments as realistic as we can. Our armor and weapons are kept as authentic as possible and the combat is not choreographed otherwise we would lose the atmosphere of what tournament was.”
Knight’s tournaments were traditionally high action displays of skill and sportsmanship that proved both challenging and unpredictable.
“Basically when you step out there you don’t know who you’re going to be facing, or what weapons they’ll have,” said Kettil.
Fighting styles are based on a variety of sources such as old manuscripts, sketches from the period and museums all round the world.
“We effectively do the same work and use the same armour and weapons though with slight variations for safety reasons. Injury happens, but it is not the goal.”
Damien Fegan, historian and member of Army Group South and Lion Rampant, has been re-enacting history for 29 years and on Sunday was part of the 1942 Russian Naval Infantry of World War 2.
“As with most things I just started reading about it and became hooked” said Damien of his interest in this unusual art-form.
History Alive was begun eight years ago by the QLD Living History Federation who held the vision of creating one event that incorporated all history. The result is a three-dimensional history lesson that is entertaining as well as educational.
If you missed out on the action last weekend never fear, the ABBEY Medieval Festival, run in Caboolture over the weekend of July 7th and 8th promises to continue on this fabulous adventure through time.
For more information on this exciting event that last year attracted 18,000 please visit http://www.abbeytournament.com/
More information on the QLD Living History Federation can be found at http://www.qlhf.org.au/